Stevenage gained their second successive league draw against Crewe despite being reduced to ten men. A goal on the stroke of half time from Yemi Odubade was cancelled out by a grand strike from Ashley Westwood as the spoils were shared between both sides.
Stevenage made three changes to the starting line up from Tuesday evening, as Chris Beardsley was ruled out due to a dislocated shoulder, Joel Byrom went to the bench and Peter Winn didn't make the eighteen. In came Robbie Sinclair and Stacy Long, who made his first start of the season. Leading goalscorer Charlie Griffin also returned from injury to take his place back on the front line.
Boro fans may have thought they were seeing double at the beginning of the match, as both teams walked out in Stevenage shirts. Crewe wearing the yellow Boro away shirts, with Boro names on the back. With the kit situation now sorted, the game could begin.
Inside the first ten minutes, Crewe fans thought they had earned a penalty when Calvin Zola hit the deck inside the area, but the referee rightly adjudged that no offence had taken place and allowed play to continue.
Crewe fans again thought they had earned a penalty shortly after, as Clayton Donaldson was brought down right on the edge of the area, but it was merely a free kick that was wasted by Alexandra for a Stevenage goal kick.
They earned another free kick when Donaldson was adjudged to have been brought down again, much to the chagrin of Shaun Miller who went on to place a superb shot into the top corner after the whistle had blown. He stepped up to take the free kick which first hit the wall, before sending the rebound into orbit.
There had been no real chances of note in front of goal. Crewe had an overhead kick easily saved by Chris Day, while Scott Laird couldn't get enough purchase on his effort after starting the move off with his hard work keeping the ball in play.
Odubade had a shout for a penalty all of his own, when he was seemingly brought down in the area after knocking the ball past Rhys Taylor, but none was given and the ball bounced inches wide of the post for a goal kick.
A poor pass in midfield from John Mousinho nearly led to trouble as he gave it way to Zola. He set Westwood on his way and he was only denied by a good save down low from Day.
Boro responded immediately and went straight down the other end with the ball. Charlie Griffin's initial shot was blocked and it fell nicely for Long who sent a fantastic volley goalwards. The shot had beaten Taylor, but not the post. It rebounded nicely, however, into the path of Odubade who smashed the ball into the roof of the net for the opening goal.
Sinclair almost doubled the lead in injury time when he jinked his way past the defence in the area, but his shot was tipped over well by Taylor, leaving a one goal lead at half time.
The second half showed the same tempo as the first but it was Crewe who made the most of it as they brought the game level again. Westwood pounced on the ball and after a few twists and turns, sent a curling effort towards goal, that hit the inside of the post and nestled into the goal.
Stevenage almost replied immediately with Bostwick, the marauding midfielder sending a low shot skidding across the surface and zipping just past the post with Taylor beaten.
Stevenage then found themselves reduced to ten men after the hour mark. Long went into a tackle on the edge of the Crewe area and was deemed to have taken the man. Mr Linington reached into his pocket and brandished a second yellow to put a dampener on Long's return to the team.
Crewe were arguable lucky to keep eleven men on the pitch two minutes later when Miller took out Laird's standing leg. The punishment was a yellow card, although manager Dario Gradi replaced him soon after to a chorus of boos from the home fans.
Nick Powell and Zola both had good opportunities to give Crewe the lead. Powell's shot the better of the two, with Day flinging himself to his right to push the ball away, while Zola's was in the better position, on the edge of the six yard box, but hit straight towards Day who saved easily.
Boro created a good chance after the introduction of Lawrie Wilson to the fold. A Laird throw in was returned to the left back, via clearance, but his subsequent cross found Odubade, whose header was on target, but also into the chest of Taylor.
Peter Vincenti was brought into the game with five minutes remaining and could have had his name up in lights once again with a late effort; his header from a Ronnie Henry cross however, left a little to be desired as Taylor collected with ease.
That was the sum of it as the final whistle drew the game to a close. Stevenage gained a valuable point, but will be disappointed to have given up a lead, no matter how special the goal. Regardless, the Boro continue to push their way onwards through the season.